with Horse and Hound

New Zealand Huntsman Is Worthy Successor to David Wendler at West Hills

Scott-Neill-Pic

Huntsman Scott Neill

California’s West Hills foxhounds—organized sixty-three years ago by song-and-dance man Dan Dailey and boasting the late President Ronald Reagan as a founding member—were compelled to learn a new vocabulary disguised in a down under accent last season.

For the prior fifty-five years David Wendler, one of the most experienced huntsman ever to carry the horn, had led the West Hills Hounds over difficult and dry terrain, hunting a pack of independent-minded American hounds primarily of the July strain (with some Orange County red ring neck blood). When it came time for Wendler to retire, West Hills was in a quandary. How to keep up the high level of sport in what some believe to be the most demanding hunt country in North America?

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